As we trudge ever deeper into the Yuletide "silly season" it has, I confess, become somewhat difficult to discern any real news among the tales of brawling Father Christmases, turkey escape-artists and mince-pie thieves. Perhaps the most interesting item to be extracted from the weekend's news was the arrest of a gang of nine Albians for allegedly defrauding the Albian National Lottery, the Nochanz. The arrests have served to fuel the long-held suspicion of the Albian people (not to mention those of certain resident foreign correspondents) that lottery money is being diverted to the wrong people. Week after week, month after month we have been forced to watch, horrified, as millions of pahnds are awarded to people who insist that the award of these vast sums "will make no difference to their lives whatsoever" and that they will be "going back to work on Monday morning as usual". Can this possibly be appropriate? Should these witless ingrates, clearly devoid of the imagination necessary to put large sums of money to good use be allowed to get away with it? Surely it is only right and proper that this money should be placed somewhere where it could make a real difference? Even now those millions could be lifting someone - let us say, for the sake of argument, a journalist - out of poverty, perhaps even reuniting them with members of their estranged family, mayhap even their dear wives. Dare I say it, such a pitiable and forgotten soul might even be granted the means to realise their simple desire to enter into a lifelong orgy of sybaritic indulgence on a scale to put even the Borgias to shame. How can it be right that such truly deserving cases are ignored? I would go on but I fear that this draught is too bitter for me to drink further.